Friday 26 April 2013

My Rusty Ploughs as Garden Decor

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get two rusty ploughs (well one is actually a disc harrow) for my new back garden. I had seen them on Gumtree a little over a week ago and went to check them out last Sunday afternoon. Fortunately they were only about ten minutes drive away. Nice when something you want to buy is that close. As I walked up the driveway I spotted the plough in the garden (fell in love with it straight away) but couldn't see the harrow anywhere. I met the owner, Lynette, who took me over to where I had seen the plough and proceeded to point out the harrow hidden amongst some plants in the same garden. After a little trailblazing through the garden, a rather large and somewhat rusty piece of farm machinery began to be revealed. I wasn't sure we would be able to get it out of the garden, let alone even lift it. But then Lynette said the magic words, "We've just dropped the price down to $20 but if you buy the plough my husband, Scott, said you can have the disc harrow for free". I now knew I definitely wanted both ploughs.

Now I needed to work out how on earth I was going to get these things home. So who do you call when you need something big moved? Why, your little brother, David, of course. After all he does have a trailer. I felt a bit like Mike from American Pickers as he often calls his brother when he needs something big picked up. Anyway, David kindly said he would love to help his big brother. So along with David, myself and my son, Rob, we were all set to go.

To cut a long story short, we met up at Lynette and Scott's place and set to work loading the trailer. We had to dismantle the disc harrow into four pieces (a bit of angle grinding here and hammer and cold chisel there) as there was absolutely no way we were going to move it in one piece. Even then some pieces were extremely heavy. Half an hour later and my ploughs were on the way to their new home. Another hour later and they were in place in my new backyard garden (not completely bolted back together though). All the heavy moving finished by lunch time.

A few hours work in the afternoon saw the disc harrow all bolted back together and looking even better than it did before we moved it. Thankfully, I had saved all of Dad's tins of old rusty bolts and managed to find just what I needed in these tins. Very happy with the way it all turned out and very thankful to  Lynette and Scott for their generosity and to David and Rob for their brawn. Couldn't have done it with out you guys.

Below are some photos of my new toys. I just love them.

My ploughs

The Horse Drawn Disc Harrow (C1900?)  Nice rusty patina. Both steering levers move but only one still really works 

Poor old tractor seat is rusted completely through but now stays firmly in place thanks to a little rusty wire

Ten lethal chopping discs on the harrow, five each side

The Single Furrow Horse Drawn Plough (Circa late 1800s?) 

Love the flowing lines of this type of plough. Very sculptural.

Cool cast iron handles with nice rusty patina. Not sure what the numbers mean, maybe a design number?

More numbers on the plough - P 1852 (Maybe a patent date?)

Sweet lines

The Disc Harrow and Plough again

Photo showing full extent of my new backyard garden. Still a lot more plants to put in. Can't wait for them all to grow

Hmm! I now have two pieces of nice rusty farm machinery. Does this constitute the beginning of another collection??? Looks like there is still room for some more.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

More Australian Mulga Wood

A few more pieces of Australian Mulga Wood have been added to my collection recently. One from the last Collectorama of 2012 and two from the first Aladdins Fair for 2013. These three pieces are all desk accessories. This seems to be one of the most popular uses of mulga wood.

In my last post about mulga wood, I made mention of a South Australian company using the politically incorrect brand name of "ABO BRAND" back in the 1930s. This first ink stand is actually from this very company. I bought this one from Collectorama.

"ABO BRAND" inks stand. The finish is a little dull and could do with a good polish.

This ink stand has it's original liner in the inkwell. These are often missing.

Nice "MULGA WOOD ABO BRAND" transfer on the underside.

The next inkstand looks as though it has never been used. Probably given as a gift and put away in a cupboard many years ago. It has two inkwells and some pen rests. I found this one, along with a mulga wood blotter, on a stall at Alladins about a month ago. I wasn't planning to buy anymore mulga wood items but the beautiful condition of this inkstand and blotter proved too tempting.

Mulga wood double ink stand and blotter.

Mulga wood double ink stand by "THE MANNA DESERT TREE"

Each ink well should have a liner to hold the ink. Unfortunately one liner is missing from this ink stand.

"THE MANNA DESERT TREE" transfer brand mark on the underside of the double inkstand.

Mulga wood blotter by "RYANS Australian Mulga"

"RYANS Australian Mulga" brand transfer on the underside of the blotter

The Australian War Memorial has a pair of RYAN Australian Mulga wood bookends in their collection. They can be seen here.

Will I buy any more mulga wood? Probably yes, if I come across something different and in great condition. We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday 1 April 2013

Hanging Food Safe (Part 2)

Remember how I wasn't happy with the look of our solar inverter on the side of my shed and how I made a hanging food safe to cover it. And then I wasn't happy with how transparent the fly screen was. It just didn't disguise the inverter enough. Well, over Easter, I actually got around to replacing the mesh in the sides and door and am very pleased with the result.

This is what it looked like at first with just the fly screen.

Doesn't hide the solar inverter much at all.

And this is how it looks now. So much better! You can see just enough of the inverter through the mesh to know what is inside without it staring you right in the face.

I managed to source some perforated steel mesh from a company called "Goods and Chattels". They have been around for many years but no longer work from a shop. The business is now conducted mainly as an online store but you can pick your order up from the owner's home if you wish. Have a look at their website. They have a comprehensive range of products aimed at the furniture restorer.
The mesh wasn't dirt cheap but not too expensive either. And I had it cut exactly to the sizes that I needed for no extra charge. Very happy with the service and product.

I think the inverter cover project has turned out rather well and even looks so much better with the new mesh in place. Let me know what you think.
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